Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, the founders of the online payment system Stripe.Forbes

Stripe, an online payment company founded by two young brothers from Ireland, has been named the breakthrough startup of 2014 by Mashable.

Patrick , 26, and John Collison, 24, who grew up in Limerick, began working on their idea for an online payment company in early 2010. In less than five years, Stripe has risen to the top of its field.

The company, which is based in San Francisco, is now worth $3.5 billion.

Although you probably aren’t familiar with the name, you are probably already using Stripe. Tens of thousands of business use it for payments.

"(Stripe) allows retailers and other merchants to accept online payments," said Newstalk business reporter Ian Guider. "It's part of Applepay - Stripe is backing it - and will provide the payment buttons on twitter…so you can just imagine the volume of transactions."

Stripe enables businesses to accept payments and begin processing credit cards with only a few lines of code that can be embedded on a website as easily as one might embed code for a YouTube video. Stripe takes care of fraud prevention, currency conversion, etc. for a 2.9% cut pulls a $0.30 charge per transaction, Mashable reports.

Stripe’s easy-to-use concept has been crucial to the development of other startups and developers.

"Payments themselves are not that important. It's the last thing you think about and can be kind of a headache," says James Wester, a research director with IDC. "What Stripe did was simplify that process and really cater to developers. It said, 'You go develop you application and we'll take care of the payments.'"

Stripe has allowed companies like Lyft, a ride-sharing transportation service found in 2012, to get off the ground. 

"When you think about companies like Lyft that probably wouldn't have been able to exist five years ago because it would have been too hard to cut checks to drivers," says Cristina Cordova, head of business development at Stripe. "Those are companies that we're really interested in exploring brand new business models with."

Mashable says that 2014 was the “breakthrough year” for Stripe, which scored high-profile partnerships with companies such as Apple and Twitter, and raised $70m in venture capital funding at a $3.5 billion valuation. The company has invested to expand internationally and its services are now available in 18 companies.

"Obviously we were much less well-known previously. I think funding and some of the other partnerships we've launched recently have really changed that for us," says Cordova.

Patrick Collison told the Wall Street Journal: “If you are assessing Stripe a year ago and the Stripe of today, our ambitions are pretty much unchanged.” 

“But a year ago, we didn’t expect to make so much progress” in that amount of time, he said.